Thursday, June 28, 2012

Milepost©, iPad Edition

No more playing around with the bike as I am now in Barrow for a short visit, or at least short compared to my last visit.

Since I had decided to just use my iPad on my upcoming road trip, I noticed that the publishers of the Milepost© had an app which promised a richer experience than simply a PDF version of the printed book. The app was a free download but the content was $19.99 through an in-app purchase. I went ahead and sprung for the digital content in spite of several comments at the Apple app store mentioning problems getting the content installed. We usually only get a new copy every couple of trips but our most recent copy was forgotten in a restaurant somewhere. I downloaded the purchased content at home and it took several attempts since it is fairly large download. When it finally completed, the app started up just fine and seemed to be fairly well done with the ability to add notes and make your own bookmarks. But when I tried to restart the app later, I would just get the little spinning wheel and nothing else. Apparently, the only solution is delete the app with its content and try again. I repeated this four times with exacty the same results. Very frustrating. By now I had discovered that if I used the university wi-fi, it only took five minutes to re-download the digital content. For the fifth time, I had a new strategy. Install the app, download the content, shutdown the iPad, restart. This seemed to resolve the problem though I can't explain why. It was just a hunch. I've been looking through the maps and descriptions every evening through several restarts just to make sure it continues to work. As a backup, I downloaded the 2010 PDF version into iBooks. I had never given an app a poor review within the Apple app store but I made an exception for the Milepost© app. Too bad there wasn't a zero star rating. If it proves to be reliable, I'll go back and revise my comment and rating. When it works, it works great. The dead tree version is way too heavy to haul around as it is almost 800 pages of ads with content interspersed. But it's still kind of nice to know what's coming up over the horizon.

I finally got around to trying out the camera connection kit for the iPad (I got it two years ago with the original iPad) and it works alright. It's the small, white adapter with the SD card in it. When you plug it into the 30 pin dock port, the Photo app starts and you can choose which photos you want to import. The pictures on the card are untouched. The iPad doesn't know how to handle the RAW files so it uses the embedded JPEG image that is used for the LCD display on the back of the camera. There was some weird green tinting on sharp edges so I turned on RAW+JPEG on the camera. Less than optimal since it tends to slow things down when shooting.

15 comments:

Trobairitz said...

Intriguing. I'd never heard of Mileposts before.

And aren't Macs supposed to be easier to use? I blame this on the software developer.

RichardM said...

The Milepost has been around for years. I had one back when I first drove to Alaska back in 1976. It shows all of the roads, bridges, businesses, construction, etc. along the highway and is great for knowing where the gas stations are.

And yes, this is all about poor programming and testing by the software developer. They were probably in a real rush to get it out for this summers tourist season.

Geoff James said...

Richard,
I bought an iPad yesterday. A completely new experience for me and looking forward to delving into the world of apps and associated techno-speak!

RichardM said...

Welcome to the dark side! Did you get it with some sort of cellular data service or wi-fi only? The current version is much more useable for content generation than the v1 model I started with a couple of years ago. That was more a consumption device...

Unknown said...

Geoff:

I was also thinking of an iPad, but I don't want a 10" tablet, I'm waiting for the smaller iPad MINI. The screen is supposed to be 7 or 8", which is perfect for me, Also I don't need the 3G or 4G one as I can tether wirelessly to my iPhone

bob
Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

Conchscooter said...

I hate technical posts as I don't understand most of it. I do recognize the white gadget as I use that all the time. That and Blogpress and my iPad. I hardly use the laptop at all anymore! The iPad is so simple to write on and arrange picttures through Blogpress. I am amazed by "my" technical prowess! And I don't know what green edges are.

RichardM said...

I theoretically wanted it to replace my laptop so the 10" screen was preferable. My eyes aren't as good as they used to be. The virtual keyboard is already slightly smaller than a traditional keyboard so I am one of those convinced that smaller isn't necessarily better. I'm probably going to go the other way and when my current iPhone contract is up, I'll go back to a non-smart phone and just have a data plan for the iPad.

BTW, tethering with Bluetooth uses less power, is that what you mean by wireless?

RichardM said...

I am also amazed at your "technical prowess" and patience to use Blogress as it drove me up a wall. I finally started to use Blogsy as it has a lot more formatting flexibility without having to resort to editing HTML manually.

When I import RAW format pictures into the Photo app, any sharp edge, such as a shadow, will have a green tinted line parallell to the edge. Supposedly, the Photo app was using a low resolution JPEG version of the photo embedded within the RAW photo that was intended to only be used by the LCD display on the back of the camera. If you record both RAW+JPEG versions, the camera records a two versions of each picture. A RAW version and a JPEG version.

Unknown said...

I feel like a caveman who's stumbled into an istore, or whatever the hell they're called. iPad, pfft (raspberry noise.) GPS pfft (second raspberry noise.) I feel so out of touch here on my basic laptop. Well, dammit, when I was young computers were heavy, and when they died they were used to build artificial reefs! Actually I'm like the youngest guy here, I'm not sure where this sudden bout of Luddite-ism came from. Probably from my pocketbook.

Anyway, my father-in-law has an ipad. Do you jailbreak your equipment? The one thing I couldn't believe was the proprietary crap. I've been building boxes since I was fourteen, and that stuck in my throat like a whole molding turnip. Some kind of pad thinger would be nice some day, but not if I can only interact in their walled garden - because even though that spokesman guy of theirs was in Lethal Weapon 4 I kind of want to throw things at him, and if I get stuck with him in some garden it might be bad.

Brady
Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

RichardM said...

I've been jailbreaking my iPhone for quite a while but I've never had a good reason to jailbreak the iPad. The phone screen is so much smaller that you really needed the flexibility of some non-approved apps to get good utility. I just haven't found that to be the case on the iPad.

I've also been building computers since they were still made of stone ;-) But these days, why bother. I still actively use Macs, various flavors of linux, Windows7 and XP all on a daily basis. Use the most appropriate tool for the job. For what I do, OS X still has the most utility of any of them due to software availability. But then again, I don't play games....

Conchscooter said...

Funny that, I tried Blogsy and hated it, flipping between HTNL and rich text and unable to see the pIctures in HTML and so forth. At the time Blogsy didn't allow me to import pictures from the iPad itself which made me crazy.
On Blogpress I touch the camera icon and download pictures one at a time but faster than downloading multiple blocks on the laptop. And then I wrote around them which is easy because I write on the same page the pictures are visible.
Believe me, if it wrren't easy I couldn't do a dozen pictures a day. And the iPad stores the pictures until I want to use them. Too easy.

RichardM said...

Yes, funny. If I started a post on the computer or through email, Blogpress would only show HTML no rich text option. Blogsy allows me to select pictures from the local library or from Photostream (iPhone photos or imported on laptop) then select formatting such as size, position, alt text, etc., the start typing text in a wysiwyg window with the pictures showing.

Interesting that our experiences are so different.

Dar said...

The dreaded wheel of death as my husband refers to it. Everytime I see it my stomach drops because usually it means I am about to lose whatever it was that I was working on. Ugggh.

I was thinking of getting the camera connection kit, but right now my "want" list is filled with motorcycle stuff. Sounds like you are getting already for the trip.

RichardM said...

This has been the only app that I've ever had an issue with. But it has been working okay for a while now.

And yes, I think I'm about ready to hit the road. I'm planning to leave Tuesday morning.

Chris said...

I could have sent you my copy! I just sold it back to Amazon for $3!